2014-08-12 21:16:26 | Telegraph (UK)
Toddler was 'patient zero' who triggered Ebola outbreak
By Alastair Beach, agencies
Telegraph: 11:56AM BST 11 Aug 2014
Investigators say they have discovered the case which sparked the West Africa pandemic, as Rwandan authorities quarantine the country's first suspected Ebola patient


A toddler who died in a Guinea border town just before Christmas last year was the "patient zero" who sparked the Ebola crisis, according to reports.


The two-year-old boy was from Guéckédou, a jungle village which lies on the country's border with Liberia and Sierra Leone – two countries which have been badly affected by the deadly virus.


Disease investigators said that after falling ill with a fever and vomiting, he then died on December 6, according to a report in the New York Times. A week later his mother and three-year-old sister were also killed by the virus – which has claimed nearly 1000 lives across West Africa in the worst recorded outbreak in history.


The reports came as the Rwandan authorities quarantined a German student with Ebola-like symptoms, according to the country's health ministry.


The patient was the first to be tested for the disease in Rwanda since the beginning of the outbreak.


Meanwhile Spain said it had obtained a dose of a US-made experimental Ebola drug to treat a Spanish missionary priest evacuated from Liberia last week after testing positive for the killer virus.


The Spanish health ministry announced on Monday that the ZMapp drug was obtained in Geneva this weekend and brought to Madrid to treat Miguel Pajares. The 75-year-old priest was placed in isolation on Thursday at Madrid's Carlos III Hospital.

スペイン保健省は月曜日、ジュネーブで今週末にZMappを入手し、Miguel Pajares宣教師を治療するためにマドリッドに送ったと発表しています。

Ebola is one of the world's most deadly diseases, with no known vaccine or cure. The Zaire strain - the one currently spreading through West Africa - can kill up to 90 percent of sufferers, although in the latest outbreak the death toll has been around 55 percent.


Two Americans diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia and evacuated back to the United States have been treated with the drug and are said to be improving, but the US has resisted calls to make it available to African victims, saying not enough is yet known about its efficacy.


Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that the pandemic represents an international health emergency that will likely continue spreading for months. It said 961 people have died and 1,779 have been infected.


The disease has strained health systems of affected states and governments have responded with measures including national emergencies declared in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.


Nigeria, which on Monday said its number of confirmed cases had risen to 10, faces the added problem that public doctors are on strike over pay and working conditions and have resisted calls by the government to end their strike to tackle the Ebola crisis.


The Nigerian Red Cross said it had provided 18 volunteers to work with the authorities to educate people on how Ebola is spread.


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